I have been administering a course in graduating from scientology for the past couple months. While doing so, I have been writing and sharing with students the chapters of an in progress book on the subject. I recently added an introduction to the course/book as I recognized it required a further undercut. I am publishing that introduction in three parts here as it might serve to spark productive thought and discussion.
A course in graduating from scientology
Introduction – Part I
One of the most difficult traps that scientology creates for minds is that of creating an arrogant sense of certainty in the member. It is ultimately the ceiling that keeps people beholden to scientology, afraid to explore outside of it, and thus serves to entrap them within its own limitations. What makes it so binding for scientologists is that they are taught that such an attitude has that effect at the outset of their studies. That is, the first barrier to learning is the student thinking he already knows it. Scientologists apparently never think that the datum might apply once they had learned all there was to know about the subject that taught them that very datum. That type of tricky dichotomy is peppered throughout the subject. It is one thing that makes reasoning, discussion or debate on scientology so confounding. A scientologist is only permitted to view the subject within the parameters of its own nomenclature, constructs and logic. He must never permit the thought to enter his own mind, ‘is there more to life than I have been instructed?’
As we shall see as we progress, scientology is finite. It consists of the words of one man who wrote and lectured on the subject between the years 1950 and 1986. By firm policy scientology enforces the notion that those thirty-six years of observations by one man are all that need be known on the mind and spirit and a host of other subjects. It even instills the idea that to think or explore outside of the box of Hubbard words is dangerous. In the book Power vs. Force David R. Hawkins succinctly described how such mental mechanics generally obtain:
The truth of each level of consciousness is self-verifying in that each level has its native range of perception, which confirms what’s already believed to be true. Thus, everyone feels justified in the viewpoints that underlie his actions and beliefs.
Presumably, the reader has to some degree shaken the scientology tenet that if it isn’t written or spoken by L. Ron Hubbard it is not true nor worth knowing. Otherwise, why would you even pick up a book entitled Graduating from scientology? Nonetheless, in my experience the notion of fully self-contained infallibility is so heavily implanted with scientologists that it tends to come off in stages or layers. It is common for scientologists, and even former scientologists, to continue to weigh any new data they encounter on the mind and spirit against a hidden standard, ‘how does it measure up against what scientology holds?’ Measuring up is not the problem. Our course of exploration is all about comparing and contextualizing scientology indoctrinations. It is a virtual exercise in Hubbard’s Logic 8: a datum can be evaluated only by a datum of comparable magnitude. The problem arises when your mind is trained to work on an automatic default (read thought stopping) where any data, no matter how vital and workable, is discredited and discarded to the degree it does not agree with one’s scientology indoctrination. Scientologists come to know about scientology and in the process are convinced that they know all there is to know.
That is a perfectly normal state of affairs for a monotheistic religious belief system. For those seeking the comfort and security that type of system lends to adherents, you would be well advised to drop this book right about now. This course of exploration is for those who never signed up for such when they embarked on scientology study. This exploration is for those who got involved in scientology from the beginning as part of a search for truth, wisdom, and enlightenment.